Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Office of Victim Services and the Buffalo Police Department on Tuesday announced the establishment of a community resource center to provide trauma-informed support and immediate services to residents who have been impacted by the tragedy that occurred on Jefferson Avenue, and the closure of Tops Friendly Markets due to the ongoing criminal investigation.
The FBI provided resources to support this initiative, which will be available to all residents as long as it remains needed in the community. The center, located inside the Resource Council of WNY building at 347 East Ferry St., Buffalo, opened last night. All are welcome to visit the CRC, which will be open between 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m. weekdays, 2-6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
The community resource center (CRC) was established to provide essential resources and support to those who reside in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood, but the center is open to anyone who needs help during this difficult time. Services include assistance with groceries, utility payments, banking services and mental health counseling.
A press release said, “Thank you to the FBI for their support, the Resource Council of WNY for providing the space and the many agencies for their partnership on this important initiative: New York State Office of Victim Services, Buffalo Police Department Neighborhood Engagement Team, FeedMore WNY, Buffalo Fire Department, Endeavor Health Services, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Citizens Bank, National Fuel, National Grid, Spectrum, American Red Cross, Fidelis Care, SNUG and Rev. Denise Walden and other members of the clergy.”
The Office of Victim Services provides a safety net and can pay for expenses resulting from a crime when individuals have no other way to pay for them, including funeral and burial expenses, medical counseling costs and other expenses, as well as assist victims and families with lost wages and loss of support.
Individuals who have lost a loved one or were a witness to the violence can contact Homicide/Witness Protection Case Manager Kim Rapp at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, who can assist with filing OVS claims. Call 716-858-4625.